The autumn and winter months are the perfect time to explore Scotland. The summer crowds have long gone, but there is still plenty to see and do. One of the best regions to explore is the east coast of Scotland. Here, you’ll find sweeping sandy beaches, historic castles and sites, and magnificent natural beauty. Here’s our guide to some of the best places to visit on Scotland’s east coast.
Starting your Historic East Coast of Scotland Tour in Edinburgh
You’ll find plenty of historic attractions, monuments and sites on the east coast. So, why not book a comfortable room at Parliament House Hotel and start your visit in Edinburgh? Here, you’re close to the city’s attractions, bars and restaurants. Start with a visit to the medieval Edinburgh Castle which sits atop a volcanic rock above the city. Dating back to the 12th century, this fortress was once home to royals, and was involved in several wars. Then, take a winter sightseeing tour in Edinburgh and explore sights like the underground city and preserved Mary King’s Close in the Old Town. Finish with some shopping and food on the Royal Mile which is home to St Giles Cathedral and the Palace of Holyrood House.
Exploring the Scottish Castle Trail
Scotland’s full of fascinating and historic castles, and there’s no better way to uncover Scottish history. Visiting the 19 castles and sites on the east coast will help you learn about the country’s rich heritage, politics and royalty. Here, you’ll discover the Aberdeenshire region’s dark past and stories, whilst visiting some beautiful sights along the way. Start by following the brown and white Castle Trail signs, which lead you to royal residences, beautiful gardens and magnificent ancient structures. Then, visit the charming Drum Castle, Castle Fraser, Duff House and Fyvie Castle and marvel at some impressive architecture.
Sampling the Local Tipple at Speyside Whisky Distilleries
One of Scotland’s greatest products is its whisky, and there’s no shortage of places to sample a wee dram on the East Coast. And, Speyside is a stunning region which is home to nearly half of Scotland’s whisky distilleries. Stretching from the Moray coastline down to the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, there are many whisky distilleries to visit. Named after the River Spey, Speyside is renowned for its pure water and breath-taking natural scenery. So, visit Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, the ‘Malt Whisky Capital of the World’ for a tasting tour. Or, head to the famous Glenfiddich Distillery and learn how this award-winning single malt is made. And, don’t forget to visit the renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in the spring.
Golf and Beaches at St Andrews
This seaside town on the Scottish east coast is famous for its golf course and links to royalty. Prince William and Kate Middleton met at St Andrews University, a historic gem in the town which dates back to the 15th Century. Known as the home of golf, St Andrews in Scotland has one of the oldest courses in the world. The Old Course boasts the iconic Swilcan Bridge at the 18th hole, and there are ten other diverse courses to play on. After a few rounds, why not visit the British Golf Museum and learn about the game’s origin in Scotland? Then, take a tour of the medieval cathedral, stroll along one of the beautiful beaches, or take a spooky tour of the town’s haunted sites.
So, if you’re planning to explore the east coast of Scotland, you’ll be spoilt for things to see and do. Start your journey at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh, before heading off to explore this historic and stunning Scottish region.